I wish I could say I’ve been reading more than I have, but travel and work have gotten in the way. Fortunately, with the holiday weekend last week, I was able to make a very small dent in the virtual pile of books on my iPad.
Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald by Therese Anne Fowler
I really enjoyed this fictionalization of the story of F. Scott Fitzgerald and Zelda Sayre, from when they met before her 18th birthday in Montgomery, Alabama while Scott was waiting to be shipped off to WWI and before his first book was published, through the wild 1920s in New York and France, to their last roller coaster years as a couple before Scott’s death in 1940. The author’s descriptions of the relatively sleepy Montgomery south compared to the vivacious New York City and the “Lost Generation”‘s France are enchanting. The way the author portrays the younger Zelda is familiar, like the spunky Rachel McAdams character from The Notebook. But she also comes off as vulnerable even when trying to be strong, battling not only the perceived role of women during the time but physical and mental illness as well. Fun fact: There is a tie to the Fitzgeralds here in the Washington D.C. region. Many don’t even know that the couple are both buried in a family plot at the small cemetery of St. Mary’s Catholic Church on the corner of Viers Mill Road and Rockville Pike in Rockville, Maryland. Despite my abhorrence of walking on graves in cemeteries, I sucked it up to visit the grave.
The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty
I was a little worried about this book because the build up to the big secret reveal was too long and I was losing interest, especially because I thought I knew what the secret would be. Then bam! Not at all what I thought it would be. The author does a good job of weaving together the characters’ stories in this Australian suburb to describe the genuine struggles of the women dealing with their husband’s issues.
The Perfect Match by Kristan Higgins
I will read any book that Kristan Higgins puts out because I am a sucker for her standard unlucky in love girl with a dog plot line.
Allegiant by Veronica Roth
This is the third installment in her series. I had to re-read Divergent and Insurgent to remember all of the plot line build up of the trilogy. I enjoyed the story but disagreed with the choices she made for the characters in the ending. If you’ve read the Hunger Games series, the energy of this book is about on par with that series’ third book, where you kind of wish it was wrapped up in two books instead of three. Much stronger impact potential.
Takedown Twenty by Janet Evanovich
Like Kristin Higgins, I will always read the next installment of the Stephanie Plum series. I’m finding, though, that the plots are starting to be too repetitive, and it’s more difficult to buy in to the clumsiness of Stephanie and her sidekick, Lula. It’s just too predictable. I also think that the triangle between Morelli, Ranger, and Stephanie has been exploited so much that it’s wearing thin and needs a resolution soon. I wonder if these issues are because I’ve heard that Janet’s daughter is writing some of the books, so the difference in voice removes some of the original attraction of the series.